Andrea James

Andrea James crosses boundaries and changes lives

by Calpernia Addams
January 17, 2006

People tend to notice Andrea James. She’s tall and blonde, and you can still see the Midwestern girl smiling in her eyes as she mingles at Hollywood parties or delivers information in boardrooms across the country. Leaving behind a successful career at a top advertising agency in Chicago, she traded ads on the Super Bowl for a creative arena much closer to her heart. As cofounder of Deep Stealth Productions, Andrea now focuses on creating and supporting work that recognizes the truth and value of transgender women in the media. She also maintains a Web site at full of information and support for the transsexual community.

I first met Andrea several years ago in Chicago on a break from filming Soldier’s Girl, an award-winning movie that showed us firsthand the power of film and television to change hearts and minds. Shortly thereafter, I left behind a seven-year career as a theater actress to move to Chicago, where together Andrea and I founded Deep Stealth before relocating to Hollywood. Now in our fourth year, we are looking forward to an exciting and busy 2006.

CALPERNIA ADDAMS: So Andrea, what excites you these days?

ANDREA JAMES: I’m glad you didn’t ask who excites me, because I’m currently entertaining offers for that position! I’m excited about being involved in three films and documentaries out now and in early 2006: Transamerica, Middle Sexes, and Beautiful Daughters. Who wouldn’t be excited to work with Felicity Huffman, Eve Ensler, and Jane Fonda?

If you had to take 24 hours off and have some fun, what would you do?

What is this “fun” of which you speak? [Laughs] Oddly, I moved to Hollywood to settle down a bit. I had a blast in Chicago, but it was getting in the way of my artistic aspirations. Reader suggestions for “fun” are welcome!

So many people look to you for advice, from your Web site to film and television consults and your consumer activism. Where do you go for answers to your own life’s questions?

Wikipedia. Seriously, I feel it’s a model for social organization and collaborative content unlike anything else out there. A grand experiment. Great, now everyone knows I am a geek—so much for dates!

What do you want to be remembered for?

Helping others. I’ve been lucky enough to be in a position to do that for the last ten years. When you give without expectation of reward, it comes back to you in amazing ways. (I also want to be remembered for turning my Frontiers profile into a giant personal ad!)

For more information on Deep Stealth Productions, visit

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